Something must be done about Fr. Michael Pfleger in Chicago

Cardinal George has allowed an honor to be bestowed on Fr. Michael Pfleger. 

Fr. Pfleger is not "controversial".  Fr. Pfleger is an uncontrollable heretic.

In the past I have seen Fr. Pfleger more in terms of a loony punchline rather than a serious problem.  I have changed my mind.

Having stupid ideas about politics is one thing, being supremely imprudent is one thing, but attacking the foundation of the priesthood from his highly visible platform is another.

If Card. George will not remove Fr. Pfleger from his mandate as pastor, or remove his faculty to preach and say Mass publicly, the everyone should make an appeal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to act.

From CMR we see this:

Caught On Video: Pfleger’s Heresy

Just days after Cardinal George awarded him a lifetime achievement award, the Rev. Michael Pfleger has been caught on tape openly dissenting and teaching heresy from the pulpit during mass!

In this stunning video from a Divine Mercy Sunday homily, Fr. Pfleger openly calls for female ordination and female bishops. Pfleger says…

    "That’s why there should be woman priests, that’s why there should be married priests, that’s why there should be woman Bishops and women Cardinals"

There is a good poke in the eye for Cardinal George. The Cardinal was already facing criticism for honoring Fr. Pfleger and Pfleger returned the favor by open dissent.

Cardinal George cannot let this stand, especially after just conferring an award. Pfleger must be disciplined and forced to retract his statements or immeasurable harm will be done to the faith. If Pfleger teaching this heresy goes unchallenged by the Cardinal, people will rightly conclude that the Cardinal supports these views, after all he did just give him an award.

Pfire Pfleger, now.

The video:


I have had true respect for Card. George.  I am therefore very puzzled by this situation.  Fr. Pfleger is causing grave scandal to the faithful.  Maintaining him in his position also causes scandal.

Perhaps Fr. Pfleger thinks that removing him would cause more problems than he is presently creating because of his popularity –  merited or unmerited – with the black community in Chicago.

To leave him there does more harm.

It is an offense to the black community in Chicago not to give them a better pastor, a man who is faithful to Catholic teaching and not a demagogue.

Please, your Eminence, do something about this fellow who is mocking the priesthood, in the Year of the Priest, and mocking your authority as Archbishop of Chicago.



From the site of the Archdiocese of Chicago:


Statement of Rev. Michael Pfleger
Pastor, St. Sabina Parish
April 14, 2010

On Sunday, April 11, while preaching a sermon on the power of fear, I was referring to the fear that paralyzed the apostles, locking them in a room, leaving only John and the women at the foot of the cross.  I stated that is why I believe women ought to be able to be ordained, as well as priests ought to be able to get married.

While this is my personal opinion, I do respect and follow the Catholic Church teachings and I am sorry I failed to do this.

Rev. Michael L. Pfleger


I’m sorry… what was that?

What that an apology?

What does "respect and follow" mean to a guy who even in an oblique way… much less the direct way he used… stands in front of people and says that women should be ordained?  He even repeats: "I believe women ought to be able to be ordained, as well as priests ought to be able to get married". Right?  Am I missing something? 

And he still says that that is his "personal opinion".

What about Ordinatio sacerdotalis?

Sorry.. that isn’t adequate.

The black Catholic community in Chicago deserve someone who isn’t a dissident.

Why should the archdiocese toss this fellow to them, as if he were "good enough"?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RuariJM says:

    My Lord!

    I’ve just looked at a much of the ‘Eucharistic Prayer’ video as I can stomach – which wasn’t much. He really should be advised he’s in the wrong church – he’d be much happier in some kind of Pentecostalist organisation, I suggest, where his extraordinary posturing and self-oriented ‘performance art’ would be viewed as merely quaint, rather than insulting and heretical.

  2. Huxtaby says:

    Truly, truly scandalous. Was that second clip actually in place of the Eucharistic Prayer? The man obvioulsy considers himself a maverick and above the law. The Cardinal really should have had more about him than honour him. How utterly sad and demoralising to see such a travesty in a Catholic Church.

  3. Ralph says:

    I see now why we must get recordings of liturgical abuse. I would not have believed this to be true had I not seen it with my own eyes!

    I can’t make it through the second video – the “eucharistic prayer”. It’s too painful to watch.

    I am going to pray for this priest to be converted.

    I am a grown man with much experience in the world. Not much shocks me. But after seeing these videos, my heart is broken.

    Where are our Bishops? Shepherds we need you. The flock is set to scatter. The wolves are among us!

    Lord Jesus Come!

  4. bbkennedy says:

    Terrible. And what is he wearing in that second clip, obviously he has his stole on what I think is his chasuble, but it looks more like a Jewish prayer shawl.

    I hope that this garbage is just the death throes of the liturgical abuser generation.

  5. TonyC says:

    I am totally confounded by by Pfleger’s actions and also by Cdl George’s inaction. If one does not believe and follow the dictates of the Catholic Faith, then is one truly Catholic. Cafeteria Catholic and Catholic in Name Only is not the “real deal”. What we see here is not, in my opinion, the “real deal”. I’m sure the Cardinal is conflicted about what to do, but I would say to him if I could, “a coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but once”!

  6. torch621 says:

    I knew this guy was had to be a heretic. This is all the proof I need. This guy is a public heretic and has no business being a priest. He needs to be defrocked and barred from public ministry ASAP, before he does any more harm to the faithful.

  7. Mario Bird says:

    I would argue that the sooner Cardinal George speaks out, the clearer it will be that he is not condemning Fr. Pfleger’s race relations or demagoguery, but rather a specific heretical teaching regarding women’s ordination. Should time pass, the line will become blurred. This is a chance to make a clear, positive, and high-profile statement. Moreover, there are spiritual works of mercy to be performed: instructing the ignorant (the parish cheering in the video) and counseling the doubtful (the YouTube audience, et al).

    Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us!

  8. Brian2 says:

    Nothing will happen. Our bishops are many things — intellegent, devout and so on — but they are soft. They typically fail to do the difficult things. Why should now be any different?

  9. JohnE says:

    I was going to mock, but this is just too sad. May God have mercy on him.

  10. joanofarcfan says:

    Why is everyone so surprised at this situation? Give an inch, take a foot…or a mile in this case.
    I agree with Brian2.

  11. james says:

    Cardinal George just honoured him. This, alone, confuses the faithful.

    The SSPX is not in communion with Rome. Fr. Pfleger (for now) is. And has been. Priests
    Bishops and Cardinals who have committed incredible atrocities against children remain
    in communion… and the SSPX is outside. We have bishops all over the world saying publically
    “ordain married men, ordain women”… and nothing happens. They remain “in communion”.

    This, also confuses the faithful – the Traditional faithful, like me… who are as
    obedient as a lay person can be… and yet watch as our brethren in the SSPX are
    treated as outsiders, heretics, freaks, and so forth… The FSSP is in many cases
    treated poorly in the diocese they serve, committed to the beautiful, traditional
    Liturgy… and this Fr. Pfleger is given an award! ???!!!???!!!

    The rotten fruits of Vatican 2. Intentional? So it seems… This doesn’t help the
    Church’s credibility in a terrible time of scandal. For this, too, is scandalous.
    And as widespread as the atrocities against children.

  12. stpetric says:

    Fr Pfleger appears to be a man of uncommon ability, debasing two religions at once! He’s publicly dissenting from the teaching of the Catholic Church, and (if the second clip is indeed from what is purported to be from the Holy Thursday liturgy) re-writing the liturgy of its most solemn season. But by wearing a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) and presiding over a mock seder, he’s encroaching on Judaism as well. Wearing the tallit is particularly egregious; that’s a prerogative reserved to Jews. Cardinal George may have reasons for tolerating this man (reasons I suspect I would find inscrutable), but honoring him with public acclaim is incomprehensible.

  13. Randii says:

    This is emblimatic of the American church.

    Cardinal George is what passes for a conservative bishop in the US.

    Huff and puff all you want. Nothing will happen. Just as nothing happened with the Notre Dame scandal. It mostly never does. The defiance by many US religious orders of the visitation is another example. The sisters have won. It’s going to be virtually impossible for Rome to adequately complete the visitation and nothing will come of it. Cardinal Burke visibly calls out US religious but that will be the it. Hello – like this has been going on for decades and it’s too entrenched to stop short of a schism. Which Rome won’t provoke. It may be afraid of losing US financila contribution – who knows.

    This is a highly visible example of what actually is a common occurrence in the US church. Fr. Pfleger is one man but this type of thing is fairly common.

    The bottom line from all this is shown in recent Pew studies which indicate US Catholics are even less “orthodox” in their beliefs than evangelicals – on issues like gay marriage, abortion, divorce.

  14. cstei says:

    I watched the Holy Thursday “Mass” about a week ago after a friend called my attention to it. I suffered through the entire service. By the end of the video I was so disgusted I decided to email a complaint to Cardinal George – Cardinal George has yet to reply to my email.

  15. Charliebird says:

    Good grief…if we can see these errors so easily and blatantly, why cannot the hierarchy? Or do they?! Why do they NOT act more swiftly against these abuses…as in the “Education Conference” video from California! I will never forget that awkward moment of the dancing deacon….good grief!

  16. sawdustmick says:

    I haven’t watched the second clip and I don’t wish to raise my blood pressure too much ahead of my second bout of angioplasty on Friday.

    However, I saw the frist clip, and I am also sad at the applause he gets. I will finish by offering up a prayer and a tear for this Priest.

  17. acmeaviator says:

    James I could not agree with you more!
    “The FSSP is in many cases
    treated poorly in the diocese they serve, committed to the beautiful, traditional
    Liturgy… and this Fr. Pfleger is given an award! ??????

    The rotten fruits of Vatican 2. Intentional? So it seems… This doesn’t help the
    Church’s credibility in a terrible time of scandal. For this, too, is scandalous.
    And as widespread as the atrocities against children.”

    Spot on.

  18. wanda says:

    cstei, If I may ask, which email address did you use to write the Cardinal? I was just looking at their web page and there are so many choices, I’m not sure where to send a message that would have any effect at all.

    This is just sadness all the way around, for the Priest and especially for the parishioners. I really have fears for souls here, Fr. Pfleger’s and those whom he is leading astray.

  19. cstei says:

    I went to the Archdiocese webpage, then clicked on the link for Cardinal George, then the link for contact the Cardinal. On the contact page there is an address, a telephone number, and an email address. The email adress is the one that starts archbishop@.

  20. It seems that Fr. Pfleger was waiting for his accolades to promote his true opinion – heresy – women priestesses at a minimum, and who knows what else? So this will be a true litmus test for Cardinal George – will he do his duty to remove this grave public scandal? Or will the 2002 sex scandal process be used – ignore the problem because the clean-up will cause a “scandal”?

  21. Servant of the Liturgy says:

    I have the highest respect for Cardinal George. That said, something needs to happen here. I’m not talking revocation of the award; that’s done. But a proactive approach needs to be taken here. The “Eucharistic Prayer” video was appalling. But, not everyone (extremely unfortunately) is overwhelmingly concerned with the state of the liturgy, particulary his congregation. The heretical commentary needs to be addressed immediately. The Cardinal should expect my email within the hour, as well as my continued prayers for increased strength and wisdom in his episcopacy.

  22. Semper Idem says:

    Maybe the Catholic Church should reconsider her view on cloning. I mean, maybe they could bend the rules a little bit just to appoint an Archbishop Burke to every diocese in the US.

  23. j says:

    Would have REALLY been communitarian if they had rejected those “old fashioned” views of the meal, and gathered around the big screen. To watch tapes of the Bears.

  24. Rob Cartusciello says:

    I used to think Fr. Pfleger was just and crank, but those two videos put that to rest.

    I lived in Chicago in the mid 90s. Cardinal Bernardin did not run a tight ship, and I was witness to a number of abuses. We are witnessing the bitter fruits of those decisions.

    I will pray for Cardinal George, Father Pfleger and the people at St. Sabina’s. I fear the parish may be beyond saving.

  25. TNCath says:

    Randii: “This is a highly visible example of what actually is a common occurrence in the US church. Fr. Pfleger is one man but this type of thing is fairly common.”

    I’m afraid I have to agree. While in the past Cardinal George has effectively spoken out against and to the homosexual agenda in the Church as well as in the pro-life movement, he has been extremely lax in his own internal affairs. Liturgical abuses continue to flourish in Chicago and the priests tend to do as they please. For years, Father Andrew Greeley was the poster boy for the priest the archbishop wouldn’t/couldn’t control, presumably because Father Greeley knew “where all the bodies where buried” in the archdiocese. Perhaps Cardinal George is reticent to act for the same reason as well as his closeness to the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.?

    I don’t look for him to do much of anything.

  26. TJerome says:

    I think this is what liberals have in mind when they talk about “diversity.”

  27. LarryPGH says:

    “De-pfrock Pfleger”?

  28. TJerome says:

    Cardinal George might be better off if he cuts this parish loose. These folks have been lost to the Faith already. Why play charades.

  29. Brian.Crane says:

    Last week Diogenes wrote this:, about Cardinal George’s characterization of Fr. Pfleger vs. his characterization of Tom Roeser. Not a pretty picture, imo.

  30. Henry Edwards says:

    Perhaps we can only hope that Fr. Pfleger starts celebrating Mass ad orientem and/or in Latin, or announces that henceforth he will use only the Roman Canon for his Eucharistic prayer, or starts preaching hard-line sermons on abortion, fornication and homosexuality, or even just starts wearing only a cassock in public. Then — only then? — we might see some chancery reaction.

    Seriously, I can understand a priest acting like this more easily than I can understand a bishop tolerating it.

  31. Athanasius says:

    Worst of all in my view, is that since in the New Rite the sermon is actually part of the Mass (whereas in the old rite it is not) the introduction of a heresy makes the entire Mass a heretical and sacrilegious Mass. It makes it even worse than if he said these things on tv.

    This is what happens when you leave the minions of a liberal heresiarch (such as Bernadine) in play and then expect them to respect your authority. I hope Gomez takes notes from Cardinal George’s tenuous experience in Chicago.

  32. dkluge says:

    “Reccanize!” priceless.

    What’s even better is that it’s actually SCRIPTED–he wrote this out before!!! he’s turning pages, etc. Nice. Either he’s taken liturgical abuse (usually in the form of illicit improvisation) to a whole new level, or he’s just lost his ingenuity.

  33. B.C.M. says:

    There’s got to be a point at which our Blessed Lord says “Um. No. You’re doin’ it wrong, and not intending what I told you to intend, so I am not showing up… But I’ll send my lightning as a consolation prize.”

    I also couldn’t watch the whole EP, I had to skip the words of institution, and was simply horrified at the sitting, and the laxity.

  34. medievalist says:

    Why isn’t the Jewish community in an uproar over a priest calling on us to be the Body of Christ while wearing a Jewish prayer shawl?

  35. Dave N. says:

    If Card. George will not remove Fr. Pfleger from his mandate as pastor, or remove his faculty to preach and say Mass publicly, the (sic) everyone should make an appeal to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to act.


    And an acceleration of Cdl. George’s retirement, please–if no action is taken–and a quick acceptance by the Vatican when it’s “offered.” The Church opens itself to charges of hypocrisy when there’s hue and cry over Notre Shame and not this–one could argue perhaps that in some ways this act of honoring is worse because an implied endorsement of the views of heretical Catholic priest is involved. Consistency is an important component in building credibility.

  36. Philippus says:

    Apologies all, but I see Cardinal George as a liability in Chicago now. I would place Archbishop Wuerl and Cardinal George in the same category which means I seriously question and doubt his ability to shepherd against evil which has taken the guise of social justice.

    He has allowed the black community to manipulate him…lest he be called a racist. I am a faithful black Catholic and I certainly see a bunch of driveling political opportunists at the helm in the archdiocese. They are everywhere. We have been infiltrated by relentless people who know how to get their point across. Cardinal George should step down if he cannot gird his loins and stand firmly rooted in promoting nothing but the truth.

    Of course we should pray that he is strong, but he has made 3 wrong moves this year. One against a layman Tom Roeser, one against us American Catholics–when he made that erroneous statement after the health care bill was signed into law and the last one was when he presided over the ceremony honoring Pfleger. And, as if it wasn’t enough…he offered words of high praise in defense of Fr. Pfleger.

    Something is wrong here. The Cardinal is being controlled. Will the real Cardinal George please stand up?

  37. JosephMary says:

    I wrote a respectful note to the Cardinal. Why are heretical priests such as this man allowed to continue with impunity? They are an embarrassment and he is thumbing his nose at the Cardinal and all faithful Catholics for the matter.

    Decades of non-action by bishops whether it is concerning public dissent and heresy (esp.among religious and politicians) and the covering up of the crimes of child rape. This is why our bishops–not all, but in a general sense–have lost so much credibility. And the USCCB! Terrible. This is why so many who were weak in the faith have gone elsewhere or even those strong in the faith have left with broken hearts.

    Why are not the holy and tireless priests who fulfill their duties day in and day out given accoldades? Oh, they resemble Christ who also was not given accolades but rather crucified.

  38. Such heresy! Women priests and bishops!?!?! Why is this guy still allowed his priestly faculties? I’m not even going to go there with the pseudo-Eucharistic Prayer. So many things wrong with it. Thanks to whomever caught this on video. Perhaps, now the Cardinal cannot ignore it.

    Priests like this are the reasons there is such ignorance and confusion regarding Church teachings. Lord, Jesus, save us from these sowers of discord!

  39. JCCMADD says:

    This is a sick man who long ago lost the true faith.

  40. robtbrown says:

    The SSPX is not in communion with Rome. Fr. Pfleger (for now) is. And has been. Priests Bishops and Cardinals who have committed incredible atrocities against children remain in communion… and the SSPX is outside. We have bishops all over the world saying publically
    “ordain married men, ordain women”… and nothing happens. They remain “in communion”.
    Comment by james

    Not really. Being is communion with Rome includes doctrinal fidelity.

  41. B Knotts says:

    This is at minimum material heresy.

    The required course of action, I believe, is for Cardinal George to issue a notification to Fr. Pfleger that he is a material heretic, and as such must respond with a public repudiation of any heretical ideas that to which he has been holding.

    If he refuses, then he must be excommunicated as a formal heretic.

  42. Randii says:

    Someone above mentioned the “social gospel”. Indeed that has become the focus certainly of the Catholic bureaucracy in the US and also of many bishops and priests.

    Except for abortion, which many bishops stay quiet about anyway, the US church is an arm of the Democratic Party IMO. On immigration, cap and trade, tax issues, the environment.

    The biggest praise at the appointment of Arch. Gomez to LA was his total commitment to the illegal immigration issue. Read that as supporting granting total amnesty, sanctuary cities and the rest.
    IMO the church’s position on this is outrageous. Look at the rancher just murdered on the border by illegals. And he was trying to help them! But that is a different topic for discussion.cst

    Even CatholicVote, run by Tom Peters, notes first and foremost that one likely candidate for appointment as bishop of Miami is great on immigration issues.

    This is an indication of what the church in the US has become IMO. Social agitators for an Alinsky-like model of community activism. Look no further than the ongoing scandals with the CCHD for an embarrasing example of this. If you don’t believe this go into virtually any Catholic Charities site in a big city and judge for yourself.

  43. Laurinda1230 says:

    What is he wearing under his vestments? It looks like nothing. Really strange. You can see down to his collar bone.

    This is scandalous and I can’t believe there were people clapping at his words!! They are all heretics!

  44. TrueLiturgy says:

    I have written an email to him. I suggest that everyone do the same. I then decided just for kicks to see what Wikipedia has to say about him. According to it, he is a member of…. the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. You read that right! He is 73 years old.

    I have actually been looking into studying at the Liturgical Institute, which he started. However, I said in my email that I am questioning what is taught there if this is allowed in his diocese. He has been a great leader for the country, and I noted something that my father raised me on: you take care of home first! I asked him to be a leader and an example to the other Bishops. I encourage you all to do the same!

    His email is:

  45. NewmanSTL says:

    Besides these video clips, which are damning enough, you all should pay a visit to the website of the “Faith Community of Saint Sabina.” Under the services tab, the community lists three weekly “worship services”: Saturday at five p.m. and two Sunday morning services. In other words, they don’t have a daily Mass (apparently) and don’t even refer to their worship service as “Mass”. Alongside this travesty, there is no listing of confession times and no information about how one might avail oneself of other sacraments, such as extreme unction or marriage. I hope this is just an oversight on the webpage, and that the community does indeed have weekly confession times and daily Mass, but other aspects of their presentation cause me to doubt that that’s the case.

    Meanwhile, the community’s descriptions of its mission and vision are pretty much indecipherable from what would be given at any evangelical protestant church. For instance, here’s the opening line to their mission statement: “St. Sabina is a Word-based, Bible teaching church that believes in the power of praise and worship. We are a spiritual hospital where all are welcome and invited to ‘taste and see the goodness of the Lord.'” To top it all off, the website includes a “pastor” tab, with eight subheadings, all of which are basically monuments to Fr. Pfleger’s massive ego. By the content on these pages, one would think that Fr. Pfleger was somehow MLK-redivivus.

    I’m sorry if I sound a bit too worked up about this, but all of this was simply too much in light of the fact that the Archdiocese recently honored Fr. Pfleger. Outside of the question of the propriety of his political views, the way in which Fr. Pfleger has structured the community life at St. Sabina just strikes me as deeply problematic. This has nothing to do with inculturation, worship style, or the like–which in themselves constitute a conversation for another day. This is about being Catholic: about the duty of a priest to provide the Catholic sacraments and to teach Catholic doctrine in a way that is faithful to the directives of the magisterium and consonant with Catholic tradition. While I’m sure some people would like to see Fr. Pfleger put in his place, I’m more concerned about the souls who have been entrusted to his care. Let us pray that Cardinal George rectifies this situation.

  46. As bad as these videos are, let me say one thing positive about them. If more priests, religious and Catholic laity were as committed to the teachings of Christ and His Church as others, like Fr. Pfleger, are to their own views then I think you’d see a power and holiness in the Church that hasn’t been seen in awhile. But as long as we continue to denigrate our bishops, even when they are wrong, and cry out “Off with his head!” every time something is not to our liking, we continue that same spirit of divisiveness that we condemn in others–correct in charity.

    I read many expressions of fear in the comments. “Be not afraid!” And I need to hear that too.

  47. poohbear says:

    Perhaps a novena for the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” needs to be stared for our Bishops. They surely could use the prayers.

  48. r7blue1pink says:

    ” Most Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – I adore thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences whereby He is offended. And through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners”

    That says it better than any words I have right now..

  49. MichaelJ says:

    At what point are we reasonably allowed to reject the opinion that “Our bishop is intellegent and devout but is soft.” and begin to conclude or suspect that “Our Bishop agrees with the opinions of those he does not censure”?

  50. Paul M says:

    What makes Cardinal George’s lack of leadership even worse is that he’s the head of the USCCB. Pretty easy for many of our spaghetti-spined bishops to look at his example and be “emboldened in their inaction.”

    For kicks, I went to Wiki and looked up “Catholic bishop” ( Under “Duties” you find the following in the 1st 2 paragraphs:

    One form for the coat of arms of a Latin Catholic bishop.

    A “diocesan bishop” [6] is entrusted with the care of a local Church (diocese).[7] He is responsible for teaching, governing, and sanctifying the faithful of his diocese, sharing these duties with the priests and deacons who serve under him.[8]

    To “teach, sanctify and govern”[9] means that he must (1) oversee preaching of the Gospel and Catholic education in all its forms; (2) oversee and provide for the administration of the sacraments; and (3) legislate, administer and act as judge for canon-law matters within his diocese. He serves as the”chief shepherd” (spiritual leader) of the diocese and has responsibility for the pastoral care of all Catholics living within his ecclesiastical and ritual jurisdiction. [10] He is obliged to celebrate Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation with the intention of praying for those in his care, assign clergy to their posts in various institutions and oversee finances.[11] A bishop is to have a special concern for priests, listening to them, using them as counsellors, ensuring that they are adequately provided for in every way, and defending their rights set forth in the Code of Canon Law.[12] Latin Catholic bishops also must make regular ad limina visits to the Holy See every five years.[13]

    Pretty clear, yet the vast majority of our bishops don’t seem to get it. Their inaction has degraded the moral authority of the Church, (to the great delight of the secularists) and the institutional Church can’t seem to respond effectively in times of crisis like we’ve seen over the past several weeks. I know they’ll have to ultimately answer for their actions and inaction, but it’s increasingly difficult to stomach. Such a disgrace to all of those who have stood up and been persecuted/martyred for the Faith.

    To end on a happier note, I am thrilled that we have a new archbishop here in LA that will actually stand up for and defend the Faith. Despite everything else going on, for that I am extremely grateful.

  51. Nathan says:

    I would counsel the commenters here to have hope. Whatever H.E. Cardinal George does, there is now a bright light shed on the situation at St Sabina’s. Given the readership of this blog, I’d even venture to guess that Fr Pfleger’s actions have been seen and noted in places of the Roman Curia.

    I would also counsel patience and prayer. First, patience, especially in the context of the years and years where this kind of liturgical nonsense was allowed to flourish in the relative darkness of individual parishes, college chapels, and dioceses. I’m sure that a goodly number of us can remember (or, heaven help us, still observe) this kind of stuff (Fr. Pfleger’s liturgical abuse is mild compared to what some of us have seen) and there was absolutely no recourse–letters to bishops and even to Rome would result in a “he said, she said” exchange and referral to the local ordinary for action.

    Finally, prayer, that God would pour out mercy on love on Fr Pfleger, raise him to be a great saint, to remember his calling by God to his vocation, and to humbly accept the full authority of the Church.

    In Christ,

  52. deborah-anne says:

    This man is a heretic and has been one for a good long time. He has done and is doing great damage to the sacred priesthood. I have twice past written the Congregation to the Doctrine of Faith and will do so once again. I am growing weary. The allowances for his outrageous un-Catholic rantings have astounded and angered me.

    Check out his Catholic Website: Warning–Requires a strong stomach

  53. TrueLiturgy says:

    Ummm…so I have just checked out his website.

    What are the rules on priests adopting children? Because according to the website he has adopted 3 boys over the years!

  54. laurelcobb says:

    Giving Cardinal George a pass because he is to busy (or whatever) defies logic. Recently, Fr Pflager had difficulties that resulted in his being suspended. Given those problems, did the Cardinal not have the ordinary judgment to at least check Fr. Pflager’s parish website, YouTube stuff, etc., etc?

    Of course not! After the difficulties of the 2008 summer, either the Cardinal (1)knew and didn’t care or (2) didn’t have the courage to face the issue or (3) didn’t want to offend public officials and loose their funds for various projects.

    What’s the difference as far as public scandal is concerned? The damage is done.

  55. Geoffrey says:


    Thank you for your commonsense–and truly Christ-like–approach. May God bless you for it!

  56. sejoga says:

    It’s amazing to me how when right-wing Evangelicals do and say things like what Fr. Pfleger has done and said in his ministry, they are (rightly) derided as pandering, out-of-touch ideologues, but when a marxist Catholic priest does and says such things, he’s welcomed as a “reformer” and as “enlightened”.

    I don’t place much hope in Pfleger being removed, but I suppose we can always pray for his conversion.

  57. RichR says:

    What a sad thing to see. I will pray for this priest and for the Cardinal who, undoubtedly, is aware of this scandal. May His Emminence do the right thing.

    On a side note, what happens to a priest that is “defrocked”? Or even a Bishop? Do they just go and get a layman’s job and go back into the world? I’ve never really thought about where these men disappear to.

  58. JonM says:

    Ok, this should surprise absolutely no one.

    Couple points in this horribly depressing episode.

    Father Pfleger has no idea how what he is doing is so wrong. This is abundantly clear. Without a doubt, Vatican II modernism was his milieu of formation in seminary.

    It is the duty of a bishop to defend his sheep when they go astray. The good shepherd does not say to the errant lamb ‘Oh you ought to come back now. You might get hurt if you wander off that cliff with a 500ft drop into razor wire. Come back (but only if you decide you want to and your conscience tells you to because that is the most important thing…you are a shepherd of yourself)’ No! He grabs the sheep, as it kicks and screams, and brings it back to safety. The sheep eventually loves his master.

    Father Pfleger, material heretic, gets lauded by the archdiocese… SSPX is still ‘without canonical status’ and ‘lacking faculties.’

    Cardinal Law, darling of liberals before his scandal, enjoys a posh gig in Rome after orchestrating systematic coverups of sexual abuse and protection for the deviants… SSPX is still ‘without canonical status’ and ‘lacking faculties.’

    Purported bastions of orthodoxy hand out the Body of Christ like movie tickets to public heretics in between ‘charismatic revival services’ replete with babbling, hysteria, and downright disordered conduct… SSPX is still ‘without canonical status’ and ‘lacking faculties.’

    This whole drama shows us just what we already knew. Post VII era is nearly anarchical with the good of canonical union is probably grossly outweighed by mass apostasy. Indeed, we are probably close to a schism anyway.

    We know the drill to fix things. The bishops won’t do it. Sadly, Pope Benedict, who is a true blessing, will not do more than talk about the problem. After words, it’s right back to World Youth Day, ad populum style mass, and praise for John Paul ‘the Great.’ He needs to follow through. He needs to know that the true faithful will be right with him on his via dolorosa.

    I think the attacks of late are nearing a point of no return for Pope Benedict: there is a good chance he will be ‘indicted’ by some court. So either way, he will face the test.

    I ask everyone, especially Father, How do we tangibly support the Holy Father? Do we approach our Pastors and beg for public defense of him (not ‘the Church is against child abuse’ lameness, I mean ‘he is the Vicar of Christ, how dare the world attempt this coup against him’ kind of defense)?

    Returning to Father Pfleger…nothing will happen. Nothing (unless it comes from the Pope). Remember, a few weeks ago Cardinal George was heaping praise on the Mormons at a Mormon gathering with absolutely no correction or hint of correction of their errors.

    Again, this should surprise a population of 0.

  59. Thomas S says:

    It’s going to take time before the episcopacy is reformed enough that action is taken in cases like this on a near universal level. Too many heterodox bishops still around who won’t discipline heretics out of principle, and too many orthodox bishops too weak and cowardly to exercise discipline because of the scandals of recent years.

    It’ll take the ascendancy of a generation of bishops with no living memory of Vatican II and its initial misuse and abuse before courageous and strong Apostolic leadership is restored in the West.

  60. Augustine Terra Mariae says:

    Cardinal George is not the only major US prelate who honors unfaithful priests of his diocese. It happens in many, many dioceses, and nothing is done about it.

    In Baltimore during the past two months we have experienced (1) a prominent pastor (of two parishes) honored with a position on the blue ribbon commission on Catholic schools (which decided which schools would close) despite serving openly on the board of a homosexualist advocacy organization; (2) a pastor given formal charge (as pastor) of a second parish, despite sponsoring (formally, not just renting space) a concert in a consecrated church used daily for Mass by a (publicly) homosexual chorus; (3) a pastor honored with the new title of monsignor, despite advertising public events (held in a local Unitarian church) for the homosexual advocacy group New Ways Ministry. What is one supposed to say when potential converts/reverts to the faith raise these issues of scandal?

  61. Sieber says:

    That women should not be denied ordination is common within those who train the future priests and permanent deacons for Los Angeles. At least one former professor at St. John’s Seminary actually held that we have already had a female pope (Joan).

  62. Maltese says:

    Father mike is not going to like that this book has reached the Pope’s desk:

    Msgr. Gherardini is a renowned theologian headquartered at the Vatican; given his standing, I find some of his words almost shocking, but much needed! A discussion over at Rorate Caeli indicates that some english language versions are beginning to trickle over the Atlantic.

  63. CarpeNoctem says:

    I have not been following this situation as closely as I should, and I wrote comments in the previous story defending Cardinal George and shrugging my shoulders at what has been going on in this parish for so long. I continue to stand by Cardinal George as a good and holy man with an almost impossible task as Archbishop of Chicago, but I have also come to the conclusion and changed my mind that Fr. Pfleger cannot be simply be ignored as a benign aberration in orthodoxy and orthopraxy. I stand corrected. I continue to pray for the Holy Spirit’s strength to assist the Cardinal in the work he has to do in this particular case.

  64. CarpeNoctem says:

    Can anybody demonstrate that this particular video is, indeed, an attempt at a Eucharistic Prayer, and not simply an excerpt from a ‘Seder Meal’ service or something else which is explicitly not attempting or intending to be a Mass? i.e., is there an ‘uncut’ version that shows that there is an attempt to go with whatever the product was of this service to a “Communion Rite” or something like that?

  65. CarpeNoctem says:

    Sorry, just re-watched… ok, I see that there is an attempt at an institution narrative. I guess that’s what he was attempting to do.

  66. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    I have written my email for Cardinal George asking what his response will be, and upon examining the Archdiocese website, they seem to be hesitant to give out too many emails. I cannot find one for the Vicar General or the Auxiliary Bishop in charge of the vicariate St. Sabina is in. I would like to CC them, as I realize Cardinal George might not be the quickest response.

  67. Hans says:

    There’s no defending the indefensible, so I won’t try, and there is no doubt that the Archdiocese of Chicago is a mess. Fr. Pfleger is hardly the first priest I’ve heard here advocate during Mass for women to be ordained (for instance) since I came here nearly 26 years ago. Indeed, it’s not even the first time I’ve heard that same argument used to support the idea; they must have a script somewhere.

    Nonetheless, Cardinal George has done much to improve the situation here. Most especially, he has dramatically improved the quality of priestly and other formation at Mundelein and other institutions under the control of the archdiocese, otherwise I would not be attempting what I have been for the past year or so. (To be fair, some improvement began under Cardinal Bernardin.) It’s to the point that I hear some people complain about the new priests here; when I ask what the problem is, the gist of their complaint is this: they act like priests and not social service workers, though those complaining usually give the worst possible description of their behavior. What you will hear is that the new young priests “aren’t servant leaders”, which generally means that they expect things to be done correctly and don’t kowtow to being told, “we don’t do it that way here.”

    So yes, Chicago is a mess, but don’t tell most Catholics here that; they have been told otherwise by their priests for decades.

    Anyway, if this blog really is read in the Roman Curia, I have a suggestion for Cardinal George’s successor:

    (Sorry, I’d format that all pretty, but I have to go to Mass, which is also my excuse for any errors herein.)

  68. Hank_F_M says:

    Let us not forget Cardianl George is a 1000% better than his predecessor. He has improved the situation, with little positive support from his staff.

    I used to think Cardinal George made a major mistake when he was appointed, he did not fire the Chancery Office department heads as he walked into the door.. Since then I have changed my opinion, he should have fired all the non-clerical (as in secretary) and non-janitorial staff.

    From the time he came in you tell the difference. If it was the Cardinal, it was clear, intelligent, to the point and orthodox. If was written by his staff it wasn’t. Many people have told me of attending workshops where the Cardinal made a good welcome speech, then the workshop continued without comment in an entirely different or even contradictory mode. He announces some initiative, which sounds good, by the time it gets to parish it is not recognizable.


    St Sabina is demographically the catholic equivalent of Reverend Wright,s Church. A politically connected African American upper middle class congregation. This being Chicago, taking action against Fr Pfleger will result in his allies and supporters sending in building inspectors who will close several buildings until expensive repairs are made. Whether or not the building is in code is irrelevant. If not building inspectors something else. The cost of firing Pfleger must be something that ways heavily on the Cardinal. If he had paid the cost a long time ago the archdiocese would be in much better shape, though maybe less few buildings.

    Pray for every one involved.

  69. Eilis says:

    I’m afraid that this whole scenario makes me wonder if there is not blackmail taking place.

  70. catholicmidwest says:

    If Pfleger bites Cdl George on the butt after George gave him a big award, then Cdl George has only himself to blame. Maybe he’ll learn something. I sure the hell hope some of our cardinals would.

  71. Ben Dunlap says:

    Is advocating for women’s ordination technically “heresy”, in the canon 751 sense? It’s certainly reprehensible but I thought “heresy” only applies to veritates credendae, whereas male-only ordination is a veritas tenenda. Anyway that’s how I understand Ed Peters in his update at the end of this blog post.

  72. Chris W says:

    Can I just say that it is not heresy to state that the Church should ordain women, as some people are claiming. It’s against the teachings of the Church, but not heresy.

    No women’s ordination is an infallible teaching of the Church, as Pope John Paul II confirmed in ordinatio sacerdotalis. But heresy, as defined in canon law, is the obstinate (public) denial or doubt of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith (canon 751).

    Truths that must be believed with divine and catholic faith are those teachings that belong to the Deposit of Faith AND have been put forth as divinely revealed, ie infallible (canon 750).

    Not all infallible teachings belong to the Deposit of Faith, some pertain to or follow from such teachings, but do not beling in it themselves, eg the invalidity of Anglican orders.

    The teaching on the Church’s inability to ordain women is another teaching that, while it does not belong in the Deposit of Faith, it pertains to it. There is a lot of confusion on this point as the English version of the CDF’s letter on ordinatio sacerdotalis in 1995 stated that the teaching belonged in the Deposit of Faith. However the then Cardinal Ratzinger later clarified that the English translation was inaccurate and that it should have stated the teaching pertains to the Deposit of Faith. He also stated that one day the teaching may be elevated to the Deposit of Faith.

    That means that it is not heresy to obstinately doubt or deny the teaching.

    While heresy carries with it automatic excommunication, infallible teachings not belonging to the Deposit of Faith do not. The requirement for such teachings is to firmly embrace and retains them, and one who doesn’t is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church (canon 752 s2).

    So you can say Fr Pfleger is opposed to the doctrine of the Church for his public stance on women priests (and we should be praying for him), but you can’t say he is a heretic. At least not for his position on women priests.

  73. Just a couple of points and I will try to not get on a high horse.

    I really am sick and tired of everyone linking women priest with married priest. One is not possible the other is possible but currently not allowed.

    For my part I would say regarding married priest that the Church should “make a way.” I don’t know what that way would or should look like but the current state of things is certainly not ideal. There are exceptional cases that get through but we need to remember that in the Latin rite those exceptional cases are people who at first rejected the true faith and then came back to it. While we should of course all rejoice when they come back the fact remains that the only way currently for a man in the Latin rite to be a married priest is to temporarily adopt heresy and reject Christ. In response to that I would ask that the Church “make a way” that does not involve leaving the Church for married men, perhaps advanced in age, to become priest. I don’t think this is unreasonable and only the exceptional cases of exceptional men should even be considered. Men in the Latin rite shouldn’t have to leave the Church or join one of the other sui juris churches be allowed to become priest after marriage. If becoming a married priest is the motivation for joining another rite, such as say the Maronites, I don’t think that would even be legal canonically.

    Of course you look at what the priest in Chicago said and you realize we know that some of the apostles were married and they are the ones who ran out on Christ. Of all the apostles, John was probably least likely to be married as he was the youngest and he is the one who stayed.

    On a side point about women priest; you would think that if Jesus wanted women priest that he would have made some. I don’t think his authority was hampered by the fact that he was on the cross. If Jesus wanted women priest and it was the women who followed him to the cross then he had the opportunity to make women priest and he didn’t do it. John was a bishop and could have asked for permission to ordain the women there but he didn’t even ask.

    Now one way to look at what the priest said is to think of it as wanting Jesus to have made women priest while still acknowledging the fact that he did not. If that were the case then it is more understandable. It might be a kin to someone saying, Jesus should have made four levels of ordination not just three. However in the apology we see that this was not the line of thinking that the priest had. He is not saying that he wished Jesus had made women priest he is saying that he thinks the Church is wrong for holding fast to the order of things established by Christ.

    So what should be done. People clamoring for women priest need to shut up. That is all there is to it.

    On the other hand I would be willing to join a debate on married priest. Of course I don’t think that all priest should be married but I do think there should be a way for a man who remains faithful to the Christ all his life to serve as a priest. It just seems wrong that someone who slips into heresy will then have a way to become a priest after marriage while those who remain faithful can not. I will say the same thing about this that I say about illegal immigration. Make a way for it to be legal. Make access that is legal and people will overwhelmingly go for the legal option instead of doing something they know is wrong.

  74. ikseret says:

    Let’s imagine Pfleger had said that Jews killed Jesus. What would George’s response be?
    George has effectively castrated himself if he does not act.
    The “apology” on the website is a mockery. It’s basically a statement that Pfleger is a private heretic.
    Is that not an excommunicable offense? What does that mean for the sacraments that require jursidiction?

    Sad Prediction: Holy Thursday 2011, Fr. Pfleger’s doing the same thing.

  75. ikseret says:

    Chris W., like the ordination of women, your argument is absolutely null and utterly void.

    When a doctrine is infallible, as is the teaching that Christ’s intention was only to ordain men, then to dissent from such doctrine is heresy.

    Read ad tuendam fidei.

  76. “It is an offense to the black community in Chicago not to give them a better pastor…”

    I agree. I wonder how many American cities have “black” parishes that have a liturgy that is only barely recognizable as Catholic. After reading about one such parish in Baltimore as profiled in a Catholic Review (diocesan newspaper) feature last year, my suspicion is that this kind of thing isn’t all that uncommon. Here’s the Baltimore area pastor speaking in an excerpt from the profile:

    “Sometimes we engage in dialogue homilies,” Father Sterling said. “We raise ques­tions, encourage parishioners to witness in their communi­ty. At first, I had some people who were going to leave. ‘We come to church to talk?’ Now, sometimes I have to cut them off, they get very fluent.
    “The idea is to create an environment where people talk about their faith, and one where people worship in dif­ferent ways. That’s OK. If people feel compelled to clap, clap. If people feel compelled to stand, stand. If you want to sit and keep your hands fold­ed, that’s OK.
    “We respond uniquely to the way the spirit moves us.”

    This kind of thing is not just tolerated, it’s actually being applauded in the diocesan newspaper! I suspect that it’s viewed by some as an exercise in meeting the “unique” needs of the black community. In reality, the people are being cheated.

    Pfleger is an extreme case, but again, I wonder how common this kind of “black-Catholic” hybrid parish really is.

  77. Ben Dunlap says:

    ikseret, some infallible doctrines are “proposed as divinely revealed” (CIC 750) and some aren’t. Only the former are the matter for heresy. Read Canons 750 and 751. Ad tuendam fidem seems to accord exactly with what Chris W. said.

  78. Thomas S says:

    That update with Pfleger’s “apology” is incredible! He actually apologizes for uttering heresy by reasserting the flippin’ heresy! Who is Pfleger’s editor? Lewis Carroll? Maybe at his next Mass-of-questionable-validity he can give the bread to his disciples before breaking said bread.

  79. Chris W says:

    Hi ikseret,

    Have a look at the CDF’s Doctrinal Commentary on the Concluding Formula of the Professio Fidei-

    The then Cardinal Ratzinger discusses the two types of infallible teachings, and the penalty for each of them. Paragraphs 5-9 are the relevant ones, and he even uses the example of the non-ordination of women as an example for those infallible truths from para 6 (ie not heresy to doubt/deny).

    In para 8 he talks about the nature of the assent to both types being the same. It’s only the penalties applicable to them that differ.

  80. joan ellen says:

    I also couldn’t watch the whole seder video. Just as I left in tears during the Rosary this a.m. when a conference table was being butted up against the Altar. A video screen was going to be placed on the table top for an evening meeting. (Hope and pray they did not choose the Altar, and why, oh, why could they not choose the parish center?)

    Our Lady of Fatima has the answer in her Peace Plan…Pray, Pray, Pray.
    Our Lady, in some, as yet unapproved apparitions, asks us to: stay in our parishes as examples, be against schism, do daily holy hours, do 15 decades of the Rosary, protect our homes with a crucifix on outside doors, wear sacramentals, ie. scapular, miraculous medal, St. Benedict Medal, a Crucifix, and even a Rosary, and etc. etc. She counsels us to speak the Truth, with charity, re: these ‘not in full communion’ offenses…one (1) time.

    If we do our prayers, as asked, especially her Rosary, we could see many moral miracles occur. (Actually, there are many, obviously we need many more.) We could even ask our Protestant and Jewish family/friends to join us in these practices. Increasing numbers of people/prayers can only help, especially ours/others peacefulness amidst these offenses.

    p.s. These burdens, crosses, though they hinder us in some ways, help the need for reparation. Ours and others. Faithful prayers and faith, as noted above by r7blue1pink, and others, should help us keep our faith. Lord, help us, lest we perish. Cause we are scared.

  81. Stephen Hand says:

    I just looked at Pfleger’s website and it’s scandalous, there’s no way to buy him an espresso online, and where is his amazon wishlist!?

    You choose your poison in this world, i’d choose Fr. Pfleger and Cardinal George over the SSPX and their tolerance of rabid anti-Semites and holocaust deniers like Bishop Williamson any day of the week.

    That’s what you get though when you don’t live comfortably on a farm spending your time taking pictures of birds and food, but rather in a hardcore chicago ghetto with people getting shot in the streets, you start getting all sorts of crazy ideas I guess.

  82. Cincinnati Priest says:

    The sad thing is that, much as I agree with most of the post-ers above on the seriousness of the abuses and false teaching of Fr. Pfleger, the man is clearly gifted.

    Yes, it is true that many people (including I daresay a large number of readers of this blog) don’t care for his style, he does have a talent that appeals to many.

    I consider myself a very faithful and orthodox priest, but was intrigued by the way he explained the institution of the Eucharist. If that material had been given not in the context of celebrating the Mass in gross violation of liturgical norms, but rather as an explanation of what the Mass means in some other context, I would have considered this a decent “first pass” attempt to reach out to people who need a more dramatic style to help them understand what the Mass is about.

    We have to remember that there is a reason he is popular in some circles.

    The tragedy here is that a very gifted man has turned to “showboating” in celebrating the holy Eucharist, to the point of mockery, rather than putting his obvious talents to good use.

    Please continue to pray for his conversion, and for courage for Fr. George to explain this to his flock.

  83. JonM says:

    Okay, I want to get something out: I confess openly that I have failed, at times, to correct people in error. Different situations require different tacts depending on who the subject is, the object of error, and the relationship of the subject to me.

    But I recognize I have failed. Recently.

    With that said…

    I am not a Priest let alone a Cardinal. This is unconscionable. The Archdiocese publishes an ‘apology’ that is really only a restatement of the heresy! (BTW, this ‘it is not a heresy’ nonsense is legalism on steriods. Dissent from infallible teachings [not the ’10 Commandments of Driving,’ but actual teaching] is ipso facto heretical.) Yet when a respected conservative writer is accused of a whiff of meaness to a particular community, the Archdiocese rapidly condemns…

    As many said, nothing will happen. I expect now at most a ‘strongly worded response’ from the Archdiocese and exactly nothing else.

    We can only pray for mercy, lead penitential lives, and do the best we can in the states of lives we are in.

    I really don’t care if a prelate is a polyglot 10 times over, or is a ‘deep intellectual’ or if he is in an ‘impossible situation.’ For the love of God, St. Peter was a fisherman in the midst of the most powerful and pagan empire and managed to lead the Apostles culminating in a united Christian realm from Ireland to Persia to Ethiopia.

    Are we seriously so weak that small time Chicago bureaucrats, with not a sliver of the abilities of the Roman legions, drive us to tolerating open and abject heresy?

    I’m am so tired of hearing these tortuous defenses of ‘orthodox’ prelates who act in every way opposite of this. VII was the portal to this nightmare and the liturgical Frankenstein the muscle that ran through.

    How are we expected to convert Protestants and Muslims if an ‘orthodox’ Cardinal I) publically lauds a heretic and de facto schismatic II) allows said Priest to publically flaunt infallible teaching and abuse the mystery of the faith, the Eucharist and III) publish an open refusal to recant?


    It’s prosaic really. We are not.

    Post-concilliar mentality is devoid of missionary activity, of converting the Protestants, the Jews, the Muslims, the pagans, etc.

    And that is why we are where we are.

    So stop picking on Father Pfleger everyone. The Priest has no idea what he is doing. He thinks he is preaching Christ’s Word. It’s up to his Bishop to correct the mind scrambled in seminary.

  84. Ben Dunlap says:

    JonM said: Dissent from infallible teachings [not the ‘10 Commandments of Driving,’ but actual teaching] is ipso facto heretical.

    No it’s not. Please re-read Chris W.’s comments carefully supported comments above.

    Dissent from any infallible teaching is very serious. It’s not always heresy, though. Heresy automatically separates one from the body of Christ, immediately. Real heresy is hugely serious, perhaps indescribably so.

    It doesn’t serve anyone to be fast-and-loose with canonically-significant terms and to accuse those who would be careful of “legalism”. The word ‘heresy’ is a legal term, after all!

  85. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    When an Ordinary, especially one believed to be orthodox, acts or fails to act in an orthodox manner,and the subject under consideration is a medi-savvy unorthodox priest, would it be at least possible that blackmailing of the Diocese/Archdiocese is in play? I have seen that attempted in just such a case.

  86. So Fr. Pfleger publicly admits that his personal opinion goes against infallible teaching. But he will just keep it quiet from the pulpit? All promoted by the diocesan website. Sounds like a Chicago style version of I’m OK, You’re OK.

  87. JonM says:

    From Fr. Garunti OFM, “The Problem of Dissent”

    …thereby establishing that whoever does not adhere to propositions taught by the Magisterium as definitive tenendae is opposing a doctrine of the Catholic Church and will have to be punished with a just penalty. The Commentary further explains: “Whoever denies these truths would be in a position of rejecting a truth of Catholic doctrine and would therefore no longer be in full communion with the Catholic Church

    This entire argument is rather petty in my view, because Father Pfleger’s treatment of the Eucharist alone is heresy. Please don’t contend than is not heresy; it is a Christological dogma being, at least in part, denied (e.g., “We all are the consecrated bread and wine”).

    Father from Cincinnati articulated much better than what I was getting at in the previous stories on Father Pfleger. I iterate, I know he could be a very holy priest.

    @Stephan Hand,

    Your characterizations are distressing and inaccurate. Accepting that we agree to disagree, I will leave it at that.

  88. Ceile De says:

    Skiing off piste (perhaps) here but the Chicago Archdiocese website has an interesting Catholic Faith & Practice Survey –

  89. chonak says:

    The idea expressed above that Cardinal Law was ever a darling of the liberals is news to those of us in Boston.

  90. B Knotts says:

    He “respects and follows” Catholic teaching, but has a different “personal opinion?”

    That does not sound to me like he is renouncing his heretical statement, and is therefore insufficient.

  91. Byzcat says:

    I emailed the following to Cardinal George yesterday morning:

    Your Eminence,

    I am sure you are aware of the public stance of Father Pfleger regarding the ordination of women to the priesthood. It is wrong for him to hold these beliefs privately as a Catholic Priest, but it is extremely problematic when it is promoted publicly as he recently did at one of his masses In addition, Father Pfleger has seriously modified the consecration of the mass I suffered through abuses of the liturgy for the last 40 years, since the liturgy reformers decided that experimentation was OK. I left the Latin Rite of the Church for the Byzantine Rite for exactly this reason about 5 years ago – I no longer have to endure liturgical experimentation. It is surely grievously painful to our Lord to see this type of abuse of his liturgy, no matter how much it tickles the ears of the people present. For the good of souls please address this issue with your priest. He is causing scandal due to his arrogating the privilege of modifying the sacred liturgy to suit his own purposes. This type of service is nothing short of Protestantism writ large. Thank you.

    Christ is Risen!

  92. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    It should also be noted that Fr. Pfleger’s apology has not been posted on the parish’s website, and unless it does, or unless I get proof that a (hopefully better) apology has been given from the pulpit, I will not be at all satisfied.

    I do not expect those who heard him promote his position to be avid checkers of the archdiocese’s website.

  93. MichaelJ says:

    Chris W,

    What other infallible teachings of the Church may I “obstinately doubt or deny” and not be a heretic? Is it heresy, for example, to obstinantly deny that wheat bread is necessary to confect the Eucharist, and hold that rice cakes will serve just as well?

  94. Henry Edwards says:

    The black Catholic community in Chicago deserve someone who isn’t a dissident.

    Why should the archdiocese toss this fellow to them, as if he were “good enough”?

    I wonder whether it’s racism, or just offensive condescension, to foist on a black parish a “great white savior” pastor that surely no “ordinary” parish would tolerate.

  95. Henry Edwards says:

    But, whether or not Rev. Pfleger actually apologized for failing to “respect and follow Catholic Church teachings” regarding priests, he certainly offered no apology for what seemed to me to be the far greater offense of an Eucharistic prayer that mocked virtually everything the Church (and particularly Pope Benedict) believes and teaches about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

  96. cstei says:

    how about this Eucharistic Prayer from just this past Sunday?

  97. markomalley says:

    Or his “homily” from last Sunday?

    Interesting conclusion of Rev. Pfleger’s rousing Easter Sermon. I’ve tried to include all context here. This clip starts by saying that by the Resurrection we’ve now got what Mary didn’t have. He adds that we can go right to God and we don’t need the Pope or anybody to get there. Later he tells us that we have the power of binding and loosing.

    Prayers for his parish and for his successor. It will take a lot of patient teaching to bring them to orthodoxy.

  98. Looks like the Democrat Party bona fides of the diocese are being kept up to date, which is the ONLY thing that matters . His Eminence should step down immeditately and the apostate suspended and then laicised

  99. JonM says:
    (care of MarkOMalley)


    Fr. Pfleger could convert China (maybe even Europe) if he were formed in TLM, orthodox theology, etc. He has incredible talent and passion.

    Sadly, he isn’t remotely Catholic, save for reception of Holy Orders. I truly believe he has no idea what he is saying. But his Bishop does and it is up to him to do something.

  100. Athanasius says:

    You choose your poison in this world, i’d choose Fr. Pfleger and Cardinal George over the SSPX and their tolerance of rabid anti-Semites and holocaust deniers like Bishop Williamson any day of the week.

    Couldn’t we just say none of the above? I wouldn’t choose either.
    Although to be fair, the SSPX has been pushing out priests who give the appearance of anti-semitism. They have silenced Williamson, and they did kick out Abrahamowitz who was half sedevacantist anyway, and now seems to have gone all the way. When Williamson’s initial comments surfaced Bishop Fellay and Fr. Schmidberger (sp?) strongly condemned them. Maybe it could be argued they could do more, but I don’t think I would call the SSPX’s attitude tolerant.

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